Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Where to Stay in Dublin ~ Save Versus Splurge

As an Irish Travel writer one of the questions I'm asked most often is 'Which is the best hotel in Dublin?'. Truthfully, the answer depends on so many factors so I thought a Save -v- Splurge post was best. Let me know what you think!

For me location & price closely vie for the top spot of my wish list when searching for the right hotel.  Although I’m willing to compromise on price, this depends on the occasion, or if the hotel is particularly nice. This week I bring you two hotels less than a stones throw from each other in a prime location in Dublin’s City Centre. 

One is arguably one of my favourite hotels in Dublin, the other I like as it’s a budget hotel that serves its function perfectly well. Both hotels are located on Drury Street just behind St. Stephens Green Shopping Centre, a two minute walk from Grafton Street. If like me you’d be driving up from the country, there’s a multi-storey car park also on Drury Street with overnight deals for residents of nearby hotels, just ask at reception of your hotel.

Drury Court Hotel ~ Dublin

Sometimes all we need is a budget hotel just to lay our heads, as was the case when I brought my sister CherrySue to see Imelda May in concert at the 3 Arena in early December. As I have 5 little ones under 8 & it was December cash was pretty tight so top of my list was price when I started scouring the net for a decent budget hotel in Dublin. I came across Drury Court & got a great deal with a twin room costing just €40pp for 1 night B&B.

Our room on the top floor was basic but spotless & well furnished. The shower has a curtain which is a pet peeve of mine in hotels, other than that we had no problems at all. Drury Court is part of a late bar P.Mac’s formerly Bia Bar so I was expecting some noise. However there was none at all, I’m guessing it was due to the fact we had a top floor room & the triple glazed windows. The hotel has recently been refurbished so the decor is more upscale, fitting with their 3 stars. Triple rooms, family rooms & apartments are also available. 

Breakfast is served in the bar with a few options of hot or continental breakfast, unfortunately I was a bit worse for wear so I stuck with tea & toast. I’d highly recommend Drury Court when staying in Dublin on a budget. 

Drury Court Hotel ~ Dublin

I was heavily pregnant during our stay at the opulent Brooks Hotel so I was initially apprehensive, wondering would I get a comfortable night’s sleep....well relatively comfortable night’s sleep as you’ll understand if you’ve been in your third trimester in sweltering heat! I need not have worried an iota, the bed was actually more comfortable than mine and air conditioning regulated the room temperature perfectly. 

The best bit was the pillow menu; yes you get to choose from the pillow cart when it’s brought to your room for turn down service. I felt like a real life Goldilocks, except I wanted all the pillows, there was no issue at all with me taking an extra couple “for the bump” of course. With our pillow choices made I thought he was about to leave but boy was I wrong he presented us two little boxes of delicious Irish handmade chocolates & even gave me an extra one “for the bump”.  

Brooks Hotel ~ Dublin

Our boutique room came complete with a dressmaker’s mannequin & contemporary art pieces adorned the walls.  In addition to the TV there was a replica vintage wireless, really nice touch as I don’t use TV’s in hotel rooms.
As my husband & I had a function to attend in Kilmainham Gaol we needed to have dinner super early, we made reservations in Francesca’s restaurant for the earliest time we could get. 

When we arrived at the restaurant we were the first ones there, turned out we were on our own for the entire meal as it was so early. The waiter was fantastic, when we told him about our time constraints he took the order for our starters, mains & desserts together so he could expedite it in the kitchen. Dinner was beautiful, the restaurant was fabulous & the waiter couldn’t have been more helpful, perfect combination for a great meal.

Breakfast is also served in the restaurant; it’s one of the best spreads for breakfast I’ve seen in a hotel. Oodles of fresh compote, fresh fruit, artisan breads, cheeses, cold meats, cereals & pastries are served buffet style.  With lots of options on the breakfast menu too, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes. We didn’t pay for our stay; we were given it as a gift of a mini baby moon. Brooks has a dress code of no tracksuits or runners. It’s an upper class hotel with no pretentiousness at all, we had a wonderful stay. 

Brooks Hotel ~ Dublin

Brooks have a private cinema seating 26 people that you can hire out or attend one of their movie nights, tickets start at €14pp. This hotel punches well above its 4 star rating; if you can afford to splash out for a night away you really do get what you pay for. Double rooms start at €170 per room with breakfast an additional €19.95pp but if you look around the hotel deal sites you can sometimes get greatly reduced rates, it’s worth a look before you book.

Tell us, what's your favourite Dublin hotel? What do you look for when booking? 

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